May 31st: Parliament's Last Chance

Update: the vote described below failed. On May 31st, 159 MPs voted against the motion supporting the recommendations of the special committee on electoral reform, and just 146 MPs voted in favour of it.   

On May 31st, members of parliament (MPs) will have one more chance to move forward on electoral reform. On Wednesday, MPs will vote on whether to accept the recommendations of the report from the House of Commons special committee on electoral reform. If that doesn't happen there is only one logical option for supporters of voter-right's. 

 

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform wrote a 333 page report that "illustrates clear consensus among experts that our system should be more proportional, consensus among Canadians on the need for more government co-operation across party lines, and consensus among parties on a process for changing the system."

However, in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to Minister of Democratic Institutions, Karina Gould, Justin Trudeau asked her to shelve the promise of replacing the first-past-the-post voting system.

It's possible, though unlikely, that a majority of MPs will vote in favour of the special committee's recommendations to continue pursuing reform, given that Trudeau has clearly expressed his preference to maintain the status quo. Once that happens, it could be years (or even decades), and several elections from now before the electoral reform is made possible through political channels. 

The only alternative to waiting for electoral reform to happen through political means is to raise it as an issue through the court system, and work hard to ensure that the case is heard at the Supreme Court.

Donate today to help raise the $75,000 it will take to initiate work on this Charter Challenge. 

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Stay tuned to this blog for updates on electoral reform and the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting.

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Current Status:

We are raising the money necessary to file the case in court. In the Fall of 2018 we received a strategic opinion from the lawyer we have retained, advising us on the approach and lines of argument for fighting this case.
 

How you can help

We need to raise $70,000 to be fully prepared to file. You can donate here.


What to expect

- Once we file, the case will be heard in a provincial court.

- Following an initial decision, there will be an appeal heart in another court. If the initial decision is in our favour, the Government of Canada will likely appeal it. If the decision is not in our favour, we will appeal it.

- Finally, if the Court chooses to grant this case leave, it will be heard in the Supreme Court of Canada, where the decision will be final. If the case isn’t granted leave, the decision of the appeal court is final.


Time and Money

We estimate the total costs for arguing and overseeing this case to be in the range of $250,000 - $300,000, spread out over the course of 2 - 4 years.

At each step, we will set a goal based on our estimate of the costs at each stage, and ask supporters to contribute to help us reach that goal, and to ensure the case can continue to move forward.